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Accepted Paper:

Game of Thrones reaction videos - studied from a BASE-perspective  
Thorsten Wettich (University of Bremen)

Paper short abstract:

Game of Thrones reaction videos display emotions of media consumers that effectively make them producers of their own. Reaction videos tend to display extreme physical feedback and emotions. The cultivation of these in fan culture poses questions to the study of body, affects, senses and emotions.

Paper long abstract:

For about five years, the genre of 'Game of Thrones reaction videos' has enjoyed vast popularity on online video platforms such as Youtube. The series is known for its brutality and unexpected twists in the storyline. Especially the sudden deaths of popular protagonists have been described as a rule-changing postmodern strategy of narration (Wittingslow 2015).

Reaction videos show consumers┬┤ immediate emotions while watching disturbing scenes for the first time. They are produced by friends and family members who are aware of the forthcoming story twist. The immediate nature of the reaction video allows for the display and reception of "authentic" emotions. These reactions are broadcasted in the borderland of Youtube┬┤s position between the "real" and virtual, offline and online life.

In the paper, Game of Thrones reaction videos are analyzed from a BASE-perspective. The questions are as following: What do reaction videos tell us about the spatial situation of emotional experience (Swan 2017) during media consumption? What motives lie behind the obsession with vulnerability on public display? Is it the "authenticity" of anger and pain that allows for the self-identification with imagined communities? What kind of an attention economy (Goldhaber 1997) does the reaction video stand for?

Apart from the private character of domestic reaction videos, the filming of fan reactions during public screenings has become popular. Especially the 'Burlington Bar reaction videos' will be studied in the paper as events of cultivating the collective production of user-generated content in the form of body, affects, senses and emotions.

Panel Body06
Body, affect, senses and emotion: fields and perspectives [SIEF Working Group on Body, Affects, Senses, and Emotions (BASE)]
  Session 1 Tuesday 16 April, 2019, -